I started a new medication in March 2020 and within a year I gained 2-3 stone. My legs, bum & hips are now covered in these red stretch marks because my skin had to adapt so rapidly.

My metabolism was completely different, and I was incredibly hungry all the time. I went from struggling to eat to eating whole pizzas and finishing every meal. My stomach was no longer rejecting food and the amount of energy I had was amazing.

My clothes stopped fitting quite quickly so I got some in a bigger size. The same happened again and I had to go up another size in a really short time. I went up 2 sizes in about 4 months.

I actually quite enjoyed the extra weight in the beginning but the stretch marks were something else. I would love to say “I don’t care” and “it doesn’t matter” but I am going to be honest, I spent a while unable to look at myself and very upset. I couldn’t stop thinking that this medication had left a permanent mark.

I recently came to terms with it and realized that there is something way more important than a few marks on my skin – and that is setting an example.

My 2 year old daughter came and asked me “what’s that?” I said “they’re just marks where mamma has grown” and she said “Wow!” And I thought, why don’t we all react like that? Nature is amazing, our bodies are amazing. Mine has gotten me through 17 years of sickness, survived years of starvation and grown a human.

I don’t want my daughter to ever feel the pressures I have felt growing up, I want her to know she is and will always be beautiful just like everyone is; and I want my students to learn that too.

I started wearing dresses to work and you know what? No one treats me differently, no one has said a thing, I get compliments on my dresses and the students still think I’m cool (who wouldn’t though right?). I really hope that the more of us embrace our bodies as they are, the more comfortable we all will be 💜

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